John Tate II retained his win in the election for District No. 3 Racine alderman after a recount was held Tuesday at the Racine City Hall.
Tate won the race April 4 against Mike Shields 184 to 179, but only by five votes. After the recount, the votes totaled 186 to 182 in favor of Tate retaining the win.
Racine City Clerk Janice Johnson-Martin conducted the recount by a hand count and scanned the ballots again. While conducting the hand count of the ballots, Tate picked up two votes while Shields increased by three votes. Those votes weren’t included in the original scan because they were written with a light pencil, according to Tate and a story by the Journal Times.
“I was expecting it to hold up,” Tate said. “It wasn’t like Alderman DeHahn’s race where he was a write-in candidate where all sorts of variables could exist. This was pretty straight forward.”
Most of the votes came from the fourth ward. Tate’s district includes parts of west Racine and central Racine. He hopes to get his constituents more engaged in the political process by canvassing the entire district by continuing to knock on doors, host town hall meetings and write a newsletter.
“Whatever issues are coming up, I want the electorate and my constituents to be informed so that they know what it means… that I’m not standing up for myself, I’m representing them when I vote,” he said.
Tate feels there is a lot of misinformation in the community about what some proposals mean and he hopes the town hall meetings will allow his constituents to ask questions of experts.
“So when people are telling me how to vote… they are informed,” he said.
Several key issues Tate has heard his constituents voice concerns about include: Street lights, street maintenance, and safety.
“I understand the concern,” he said. “People want to feel safe no matter what time of day it is. There is fear of the unknown and if it’s dark outside, it’s unknown.”
Tate said his constituents didn’t really mention the arena, but he was in favor of funding the phase one piece of the project.
The would project includes a 130-room hotel, conference and meeting space, and a 3,000 to 5,000 seat multi-purpose event center. A USHL hockey team is expected to be its first tenant. It is expected to bring in 600 to 800 jobs, 50,000 new visitors to the city, and $322 million in new spending over the next 30 years.
The hotel part of the project would be a privately funding project. However, there is no developer on the hook. The event center funding is being studied.
“Obviously the city does need something and it needs to be significant to spur on the growth that we desire… because for a very long time we’ve just been losing, losing, losing,” he said. “And the last time we had a real win was with the marina and we didn’t really strike on that in terms of continuing to build.
But Tate is cautiously optimistic about the project because he still wants to see what kind of information comes out of the phase one study. He wants to understand what the other proposals are, what the designs are and what the funding mechanism would be to pay for the arena.
“I’m not in favor of a fully taxpayer-funded sort of project,” he said. “But I believe we’ll see private investors start to show their interest in this project once we do our due diligence.”
The swearing-in ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. April 18.